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UK Publications

24 February 2017 Is Sterling's Depreciation a Blessing or a Curse for Profits?

By Samuel Tombs

This week's GDP figures showed that firms invested only sparingly in 2016, but their financial fortunes have been bolstered by a recovery in profits. The gross operating surplus of all firms rose by 4.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the biggest increase for 11 quarters. This pushed the share of GDP absorbed by profits up to 21.3%, just above its 60-year average of 21.2%.

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23 February 2017 Q4 GDP Flatters to Deceive, a Consumer-led Slowdown is Coming

By Samuel Tombs

Taken at face value, the GDP data continue to suggest that the Brexit vote has had no adverse consequences for the economy. The official estimate of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q4 was revised up yesterday to 0.7%, from 0.6%. The revision had been flagged earlier this month by stronger industrial production and construction output figures.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (134.6 KB) Download

*Feb 2017 - U.K. Economic Chartbook*

By Samuel Tombs

A Consumer slowdown is under way...Policymakers will not provide more stimulus

Category: Eurozone Documents / Document PDF (3.36 MB) Download

22 February 2017 Q4 GDP Likely to be Revised up, but Momentum won't Endure

By Samuel Tombs

We expect the official estimate of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in Q4 to be revised up to 0.7% today, from last month's preliminary estimate of 0.6%. The consensus forecast is for no revision, so the data likely will boost interest rate expectations and sterling, if we're right.

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21 February 2017 Fiscal Policy Won't Be Eased, Even If January's Surplus is Huge

By Samuel Tombs

January's public finance data, released today, take on particular importance because they are the last to be published before the Chancellor delivers his first Budget on March 8. The public finances nearly always swing into surplus in January, primarily because the deadline for individuals to submit self-assessment--SA--tax returns for the previous fiscal year is at the end of the month. Firms also pay their third of four payments of corporation tax for their profits in the current fiscal year.

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20 February 2017 Should Sterling Investors Fear a Snap General Election?

By Samuel Tombs

Elections will be held on Thursday in two constituencies vacated recently by Labour MPs. Betting markets are pricing-in a 70% chance that the Conservatives will win the by-election in Copeland--even though they trailed Labour there by eight points in the general election in 2015--mainly because around 60% of Copeland's electorate voted to leave the EU last year.

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17 February 2017 Retail Sales Likely got off to a Soft Start This Year

By Samuel Tombs

Today's official retail sales figures look set to show that consumers tightened their purse strings at the start of this year, following last year's spending spree. We think that retail sales volumes rose by just 1.0% month-to-month in January; that would be a poor result after December's 1.9% plunge. Surveys of retailers have been weak across the board. The reported sales balance of the CBI's Distributive Trade Survey collapsed to -8 in January, from +35 in December. The balance is notoriously volatile, but the 43-point drop is the largest since the survey began in 1983.

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16 February 2017 Slowdown in Wage Growth Further Reduces 2017 Rate Hike Chances

By Samuel Tombs

Yesterday's labour market data delivered a further blow to hopes that consumers' spending will retain enough momentum for the MPC to press ahead and raise interest rates this year. The most striking development is the decline in year-over-year growth in average weekly wages to just 1.9% in December, from 2.9% in November.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (136.87 KB) Download

*Feb 2017 - EZ Economic Chartbook*

By Claus Vistesen

The EZ Economy is in a good Cyclical Shape.. But Can It Shrug off Political Changes in 2017?

Category: U.S. Documents / Document PDF (2.57 MB) Download

15 February 2017 Upward Inflation Trend Still Strong, Despite January's Modest Rise

By Samuel Tombs

January's CPI inflation of 1.8%, up from 1.6% in December, was one-tenth lower than anticipated by the consensus, the Bank of England and ourselves. The undershoot, however, was entirely due to a pull-back in clothing inflation which is unlikely to be sustained. Price pressures across the rest of the economy have continued to intensify, suggesting that CPI inflation still is on course greatly to exceed the 2% target later this year.

Category: UK Documents / Document PDF (133.46 KB) Download

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